During this time of year, my Episcopalian heart feels a sense of longing. In Advent, I turn my heart and mind to the coming of the incarnate Christ. It is not therefore lost on me this week that when Tubman uttered on her deathbed, “I go to prepare a place for you,” that she was borrowing from the Christ in whom she believed and trusted.
There’s another truth revealed here, too. For black Americans, we are often told in explicit and implicit ways when our acknowledgement and celebration of our blackness is welcome, and when it is not. We are sought out and lauded for athletic prowess and for entertainment, but when we access a facet of our identity that leads us into activism and advocacy, we are smacked down by the dominant culture – told to shut up and dribble.
This post is part of a year-long series. If my work is helpful for you, consider a contribution through Venmo to support this crucial work of unlearning racial bias. Two weeks ago, our country was taking baby steps in the direction of accepting Joe Biden as president-elect. Emotions and temperatures were flaring as caravans of…
Too often, in television and movies, black gospel choirs are used as a stylistic device. They appear for a moment – to make us laugh because their presence is jarring and their choir robes out of place; to make us feel a surge of giddiness because the guy and the girl finally got together at the end of the movie; to elicit in us a desire to forgive people in our own lives who have wronged us, just like the character on that show we like offered forgiveness to someone who wronged them.
This remixed version of L. Frank Baum’s age-old tale resonates so deeply with me because it is so black, because it is so resonant, because it is so inviting, because it is so familiar, and – of course – because it reminds me of home.
This post is part of a year-long series. If my work is helpful for you, consider a contribution through Venmo to support this crucial work of unlearning racial bias. Last week, I asked you how you could balance humanizing the victims of police violence while leaving space for the wholeness of their lived experiences. This…
Each time a new name comes across my news feed because a black person has been killed by people who have been hired to “protect and serve,” my body and heart return to an all too familiar weariness reserved for this unique blend of personal and corporate grief. The grief passed down through generations and shared across the diaspora. The grief that fervently hopes blackness won’t be blamed for the death of us all.
After all, if feminism at its heart is about taking up space, then so must blackness be.
How much of the TV and movie content you took in growing up centered around people who didn’t look like you? How did such shows cause you to grow, change, or be challenged? Might your growth have traveled a different trajectory if you’d taken in more diverse media at a young age?
One of my favorite scenes in the movie depicts Juan assuring Chiron that he doesn’t have to have answers about his sexuality at his young age.